Center for Rural Affairs May and June 2021 Newsletter

Small Towns
Click here to download

Editor's note

We bring you examples of two of our organization’s core values in this issue, “Widespread OWNERSHIP and CONTROL of small businesses, farms, and ranches by those who work them.”

This edition starts with a story about Josie Vitosh, the recipient of our first home loan. I very much enjoyed meeting Josie and telling her story. By providing a way for her to buy the little blue house, we help one more individual stay in a rural community, and in this case, a hometown that means so much. This is just the start of an exciting new area of work.

We emphasize ownership with a feature on Jennifer Hill, who had a dream to own her own salon, so we helped her out with a loan. When COVID-19 hit and she was forced to shut down, we assisted with a second pandemic-related express loan. Thanks to our help, she is able to keep her dream alive.

Through farm bill programs we advocate for, Ryan Collins was able to get a financial boost to improve his farming operation. Today, he continues those practices with his children by his side.

To help veterans, like Dean Dauphinais, begin farming operations, we started a year-long workshop, and are educating and linking these folks to successful peers.

And, finally, our executive director talks about economic development in small towns. He talks about Dollar General’s presence in our communities, corporate control over profits, and what we can do about it.

Check it out.

Inside this issue

Vibrant sunsets punctuate Center’s first ever homeownership loan - The little blue house sits in the middle of a block, the second in a row of four homes. Josie Vitosh says this 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house, nestled in the middle of Odell, Nebraska is perfect.

Conservation program supports young farmer - For Ryan Collins of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, working on the family farm connects him to both past and future generations.

From the desk of the executive director: Dollar General seeks to reshape small towns - Dollar General has become a ubiquitous feature of America’s small towns. The discount retailer is opening new stores at a rate of 1,000 a year. There are now more than 16,000 spread across the country, including two in the county where I live.

Scottsbluff salon owner styles her way to success - Before finishing cosmetology school, Jennifer Hill had a dream to be a business owner and open her own salon.

Minnesota veteran looks forward to ‘A Year in the Life’ - Growing up in North Dakota on a small hobby-type ranch, Dean Dauphinais became interested in farming at a young age.

Take action to support your resident bumble bees - Bumble bees are a charismatic and easily recognizable pollinator thanks to their loud buzz, fuzzy appearance, and distinct color patterns.

Center releases Clean Energy Siting Library - Renewable energy projects are gaining momentum. Utility-scale solar and wind projects have continued to proliferate across the rural landscape as these sources of electricity have become more cost-effective than traditional fossil fuels. 

Sign up for the free newsletter here.